What is it like to be born as hermaphrodite?

I found out about having both male and female genitals when I was in my early 20s. The following years I found out that in addition to a penis (regular sized), I also have ovaries, a vagina (closed off due to merged labia) and after a confusing first puberty with neither distinctly male nor female hormone levels, I started going through a second puberty a few years ago during which my ovaries began to produce regular female levels of oestrogens.

As far as I’m aware, I have both XX and XY chromosomes, on account of being the result of twin embryos merging early in the development cycle (traces were found of a second embryo when I was born). Basically this means that I am a twin-in-one, or my own brother and sister.

I had two testicles (undeveloped) which were removed a few years ago. The biopsy showed that I was never fertile as a male, and that these testicles would never have produced regular male levels of testosterone (I only had like 25% of male levels). Whether I have eggs in my ovaries is currently unknown.

I guess the main sensation of having been born like this is one of confusion and isolation. I got no role models or existing (historical) figures to follow in this. Medical science is also confused and sometimes hostile towards someone like me. I’m currently dealing with chronic pains which may be a side-effect of my intersex condition, but since I have not found a doctor with a clue who wants to help me, I do not know what is going on here.

Meanwhile I suffered severe PTSD over the past years as a result of my experiences with doctors, psychologists and other unpleasant events. My difficulty determining who and what I truly am made me very vulnerable over the past years, allowing others to take advantage of me.

It’s hard not to give into negativity and simply assume that this world does not want to see people like me alive. Doctors have tried their best to convince me that I had to be transgender and force me through mutilation therapy (i.e. transgender treatment, resulting in the ripping out of either the male or female side with any surgery).

To be frank, I do not know whether there is a place in this world for people like us. Not when there’s so much negativity and bias against us.

Author: Maya Posch, Born as hermaphrodite, surviving a binary society.

Source: Here